Redshirt junior Sean Mannion has won the starting quarterback job at Oregon State, beating out redshirt senior Cody Vaz, Beavers head coach Mike Riley announced Monday.
Mannion has started 19 games over the past two seasons, throwing for 5,774 yards and 31 touchdowns against 31 interceptions. At 6 feet 5 and 208 pounds, he is the classic strong-armed pocket passer Riley has favored. However, Mannion alternated between flashes of brilliance -- 379 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a road win at UCLA last season - and moments of frustration -- seven interceptions in back-to-back games against Washington State and Washington.
But Vaz seemed to be more consistent in 2012, winning starts against BYU and Utah after Mannion hurt his knee. Vaz nearly led Oregon State back against the Huskies coming off the bench and had a 23-21 lead in the fourth quarter at Stanford when he lost a fumble to set up the game-winning Cardinal touchdown. Returning from an ankle injury he suffered in the final moments of that loss to Stanford, Vaz started only one more game and struggled in the Alamo Bowl against a relentless Texas pass rush.
Mannion seems to have a good hold on the job.
"We don't want (Mannion) looking over his shoulder," offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf told the Oregonian.